After reading War's excellent article on building a light weight frame for the LC-1 pack I decided to try and build one my self. I gave up after finding the "wonder rod" I'd got wouldn't flow right with aluminum. But his short frame sparked an idea in my noodle.
I figured the LC-1 frame could be shortened with little fuss. What I did was to dismount the ruck from the frame I then put on my LBE. I use South African LBE because it fits fine, is quiet, has wide straps and handles lots of goodies( like FAL mags) with ease. But I digress. I put the frame on and my wife measured from the top of the center aluminum strap to where it would rivet onto the shelf rack less the height needed for the bottom of the rack to clear the top of my LBE butt pouches. She then marked cut line on the strap.
I removed the rest of the webbing off the frame and went to the garage. Since I had the center strap marked for the shelf rack all I had to do was to remove the rack and shorten the strap and two rods which the rack was riveted to. So what I did was the following:
I first took a drill with a 13/64" bit and drilled off the tops of the rivets which held the shelf rack on. Then using a punch and Vice Grip I punched out the rivets and pulled out the ones which went through the frame rods. I set the shelf rack aside and cut the center strap to length. I slid the shelf rack back on the frame rods and tried to position it where it needed to be. At that point I found the cross strap interfered with positioning of the rack. I drilled out the rivets holding the cross strap and removed it. Note: This may or may not be necessary depending on your torso length. Or you might want to ditch the strap just to lose the weight it represents. Your call. After placing the shelf rack back on the frame rods I slid the rack into position and clamped it with Vise Grips to the center strap.(Make sure it's centered on the rack.) I drilled through the strap using the preexisting hole in the shelf rack. I pop riveted the rack to the strap. I used 3/16" rivets cause that's what I had. Then I squared the rack with the frame rods and clamped it in place. I then drilled and riveted the frame rack to the frame rods. Lastly, I took Joe hacksaw and used him to shorten the rods. I reassembled the webbing and ruck to the frame. I could have painted the frame but it was late and I didn't think about it. I still need to take a file and clean up the edges of the frame rods because they are rough and snag things. The fit is much better than it was and now I can carry my stuff without the pack being hard to control.
So there You go. If You're stuck in Podunk BFE without aluminum brazing rod and want to hump your ruck with your LBE on and not have the pack crawling over the top of your head and you don't have an Alpha frame you can make due with the serger mod on your LC-1 frame.
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